Cannot load Zorin after installing Win 7

Okay, I'm a complete newbie so hopefully my problem is simple and common with tons of solutions.

So I originally had Win 7 on one HD and wanted to explore linux, so I installed Zorin Lite on another HD. I did not choose the utterly confusing dual install, instead I removed all other HDs and installed Zorin on the remaining. When I reconnected the other HDs everything was fine. By clicking F8 at start-up I could choose which HD to load OS from, and switched seamlessly between Win and Zorin.

Then I had to reinstall Win 7 due to driver screw up. I did and after that it only loads into Windows, even if I choose to boot from the HD which Zorin is installed on. For some reason it automatically launches windows no matter what I do. I'm completely locked out as I cannot even access the linux HD via Windows (but I could access the Windows HD via Zorin).

Any ideas how to solve this? Would be super if I did not have to reinstall Zorin as it will ruin and overwrite everything I've got on that HD. And it was extremely complicated to instal Zorin to begin with, so hopefully this can be avoided.

You may have to fix the boot loader for one or both operating systems. I don’t even know what suggestions to give because you are using Windows 7 which is no longer supported and I have no idea about your hardware or how everything is configured. Look up some videos on YouTube on dual boot installations using multiple hard drives or SSDs.

Ah, sorry about that - here's the details:

|OS Name|Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate|
|Version|6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601|
|System Manufacturer|ASUS|
|System Type|x64-based PC|
|Processor|Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4690K CPU @ 3.50GHz, 3501 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)|
|BIOS Version/Date|American Megatrends Inc. 3602, 23.03.2018|
|SMBIOS Version|2.7|
|Installed Physical Memory (RAM)|32,0 GB|
|Total Physical Memory|31,9 GB|
|Available Physical Memory|20,9 GB|
|Total Virtual Memory|63,9 GB|
|Available Virtual Memory|50,9 GB|
|Display Name|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060|
|Adapter RAM|(1 048 576) bytes|

Remove the HDD where Win 7 is installed and keep the HDD in which Zorin was installed. And then try to boot again to check if Zorin is booting or not.

And in your BIOS make sure Secure boot is disabled.

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Boot Repair Disk, (AKA grub repair) should detect operating systems and fix your grub. How to rescue a screwed up GRUB on a broken dual boot hard drive? - #2 by Maxwell-J

You should find it included on your ZorinOS Live USB.

Aaaaahhhh... of course! How foolish of me not to think of this myself. it was the exact same trick I used to begin with. Thanks for the suggestion, it will help determine where the problem lies.

If it works without the win HD, then I assume my next step will have to be the Boot Repair Disk / Grub Repair that zabadabadoo suggests.

That USB got damaged and I cannot make a new one, because for some reason Rufus is denied access every time I try making one (with virus prog off, having manually formatted, and otherwise easily accessing the stick so the usb port works). I will try to look for an alternative to Rufus.

Meanwhile, I assume I can find the grub repair online.

Yes. Here:

Make sure you run Rufus as an administrator.

A good alternative is Ventoy